A friend who is a heart transplant cardiologist has an appreciation of Ezekiel 36:26 that not many of us can understand. Mike manages the pre-operation and post-operation care for heart-transplant patients. He’s often in the operating room as surgeons remove diseased, discolored hearts and replace them with vibrant, pink “new” donor hearts.

Mike explains that the process for selecting who gets a “new” physical heart is similar to who can get a “new heart” from God (Ezek. 36:26). In both cases, need alone is the criterion.

Ezekiel’s mention of the people of Israel someday getting a “new heart” is a foreshadowing of the change that takes place at salvation. Ephesians 4:24 and 2 Corinthians 5:17 refer to it as “new man” and “new creation.” For the Israelites of Ezekiel’s day and for those of us living today, only one criterion must be met for us to acquire a “transplant.” We must need it. It matters not whether we’re rich or poor, respected or scorned. Citizenship, social status, and ethnicity are inconsequential. If we need a new heart from God, we can have one through faith in Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection.

What indicates that need? As sinners, all of us need a new heart. Have you had a spiritual heart transplant?